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Thanksgiving Countdown

5 Tips for Hosting the Best Friendsgiving 

By: Lodge Cast Iron / October 11, 2023

There’s no better way to kick off the holiday season than to share a big meal with your friends. Here are our favorite tips for hosting a no-stress Friendsgiving that’s big on delicious food and fun memories. 

Friends sitting around table
Create a sign-up sheet 

Round up your friends and set a menu! We like to use a sign-up sheet where everyone can share what they’re bringing with the rest of the group. That way you don’t end up with several of the same dishes. If someone has a special dietary need, make a note of that so they feel included, too! This can be as simple as making side dishes without meat for vegetarians in your group or making your famous mac and cheese with gluten-free noodles. 

Get creative with your main 

When it comes to Friendsgiving, we say cut turkey from the menu and replace it with a different main (no hate to the turkey lovers!). If you come from families who are adamant about the menu on Thanksgiving but your friends are more adventurous, then this is the time to try something new. Roast turkey legs instead of a whole turkey, go for the Grilled Lamb Chops, make a Standing Rib Roast or Veggie-Nested Roast Chicken, or serve up a Butternut Lasagna as your main. 

Experiment with new techniques 

We encourage everyone to experiment with the dish they bring—if they’re feeling creative! Since folks are typically only responsible for getting one dish to the table, that leaves a little more time and headspace to do something different. Make your apple pie with a cheddar crust. Top your sweet potato casserole with spicy bourbon pecans. Use a variety of cheeses in your mac and cheese. This is your chance to play around with the menu—without getting side-eyed by your grandma.  

Top the night off with some friendly competition  

Serve your dinner buffet-style and request that each person bring their dish ready to eat. This will save you from the fuss of last-minute cooking once the celebration has begun. As folks arrive, have them fill out a card with the name and description of their recipe (for example: D’s 5-Cheese Macaroni or V’s Honey-Glazed Ham Balls) that can be placed alongside the dish in the buffet line. If necessary, this card can also note whether the dish is vegetarian, gluten-free, or contains allergens like nuts or dairy. After everyone has eaten, top off the night by voting on your favorite dishes! 

Send people home with leftovers 

Be ready to send people home with food, but don’t give away all of your food storage containers! Some hosts request that folks bring their own to-go containers (BYOC!), but one of our favorite hosting tips is to simply pick up some restaurant-style to-go boxes to have handy that night for your guests. It’s an easy (and fairly inexpensive) touch that goes a long way!  Before you clean up, let everyone hit the buffet one last time to load up on leftovers. They’ll thank you for it come lunchtime and your fridge won’t be crowded with food that you can’t finish on your own.  

Inspo recipes to get you started! 
Contributed By: Lodge Cast Iron

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